Cafe Andaluz

Café Andaluz

7th August 2016 12noon

www.cafeandaluz.com

This was an unplanned visit but Café Andaluz is a regular, reliable haunt for many an Edinburger. We opted for the Sunday deal of three tapas plus a dessert for £15.95. You get a slightly smaller menu to choose from but still plenty to  whet your appetite. I went for the Ensalada Andaluza (a firm favourite of mine), calamari and lightly dusted cod fillet pieces. My dining partner went for patatas bravas, chorizo and black pudding and paella valenciana.

Whilst the dishes can come out as and when, ours all came together. My calamari was really generous in size and not rubbery in the slightest. The chorizo mayonnaise was lovely and worked really well alongside the calamari. I enjoyed every mouthful. The salad was absolutely delicious. A nice mix of asparagus tips, artichokes and sun blushed tomatoes with a divine sweet hinamin dressing. The cod was also lovely and moist. I did squeeze too much of the accompanying lemon over the pieces which meant the coating went a bit soggy but it didn’t spoil the flavour. A touch of paprika in the coating gave it more depth.

On the other side of the table, the chorizo and black pudding was the hit of her three dishes. So much so she said she could eat a massive bowl of it just with some bread. It certainly looked like a very satisfying dish. The pastas bravas also went down well, with plenty of potato. As for the paella, it disappeared very quickly. I particularly had food envy over that dish.

Crema Catalana - Cafe Andaluz

Crema Catalana – Cafe Andaluz

We both opted for Crema Catalana for dessert and boy was it worth it. A generous portioned dessert but beautifully crafted. The sugar top crunched perfectly and the underneath was smooth and creamy. I devoured the whole lot, although my friend struggled to finish hers but I had lighter tapas dishes.

Café Andaluz was a strong, reliable restaurant where you will find something to please.

Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall 33.5/40

Would I eat here again? Of course.

Cost £36 for three tapas each, two desserts and two soft drinks

 

Olives - Serrano Manchego

Serrano Manchego

4th August 2015 5.30pm

https://serranomanchego.co.uk/

We nipped in here for an impromptu dinner between Fringe shows. Serving a decent sized selection of tapas, we scoured the menu. I thought I’d opt for 3 dishes; manzanilla olives, jamon serrano reserva and garlic mushrooms in a gazpacho sauce. My dining partner went for patatas bravas and deep fried anchovies (she intended to keep room for churros).

Olives - Serrano Manchego

Olives – Serrano Manchego

As with tapas, the dishes come as and when they are ready. The olives came out first. They had a smattering of rosemary over them. The olives were incredibly flavoursome and I scoffed the lot. It was a shame they weren’t pitted but that is a personal preference. The anchovies and patatas bravas arrived next. The patatas bravas seemed a little more like chip ends, which was a bit of a shame as they looked lovely. The anchovies were OK. My friend felt that the aioli that came with them wasn’t that special. My mushrooms then arrived. They were OK but the gazpacho was more like a standard tomato sauce. It was then that it dawned on me that my jamon order must not have been taken (which was odd as it was the middle item I ordered). However, I decided not to chase and share the churros instead.

We liked the look of the churros when they arrived, although a touch pale. They had good crunch and flavour but the chocolate sauce was a bit too runny to dip properly. It didn’t stop us munching through the lot though.

Churros - Serrano Manchego

Churros – Serrano Manchego

Serrano Manchego had a few nice points but mainly I felt a little disappointed.

Food – 7.5/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere  – 7.5/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Unlikely.

Cost £25 4 tapas, one churros, a beer and a Diet Coke

Serrano Manchego Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tapa

24th May 2016 6pm

www.tapaedinburgh.co.uk

Tapa

Tapa

We had got ourselves a £25 voucher for Tapa in Leith so we went to check it out. Tapa is a cute place, it’s décor is perfect for tapas dining, understated but somehow with plenty of Spanish flair. We both loved the vibe of the restaurant. Early doors we were warned that the servings were bigger than traditional Spanish tapas and to make sure you factor this in before ordering. These were wise words and do heed them. It’s good as it encourages a decrease in food waste.

So, there are options for nibbles whilst you wait for your main tapas dishes to come through, so we opted for bread, Jamón Ibérico de Bellota and Queso Manchego to munch on whilst we waited. As you’ll be able to see from my photo, there is no getting away from it – the bread rolls did look like boobs. However, they tasted great and the three dips – olive oil with balsamic vinegar, pesto Manchego and a beetroot dip – were all delicious. The manchego worked quite well as an alternative to parmesan in the pesto. The manchego slices had great flavour and the jamon, depth and maturity. The cheese and ham came with mini bread sticks which were good for texture.

Most of the tapas dishes came out close together (although we chased the ribs). First we tucked into the Morcilla De Burgos. For those of you who don’t know, morcilla is like a Spanish version of black pudding. Quails eggs were placed on top of the tower of morcilla. This was all nice enough but I’m  not sure it was massively successful as a dish. Perhaps the quails egg wasn’t able to provide enough yolk for the amount of morcilla. That being said, this was the only one slightly unsure note of the dinner. The patatas bravas, unsurprisingly, were delicious. They started off sweet and smokey then the subtle heat developed as you continued.  Punitillitas (crispy fried squid) were fab and plentiful bite sized joys.

The ceviche of seabass was the winner for me. The fish had a beautiful citrus zing and was vivid with mango, pomegranate and chilli. It was both fresh and delightful. Finally we had the costillas (baby back ribs). There were masses of these. They were of great quality though with lots of meat on them. The glaze was also delicious. We couldn’t  quite finish them all but we gave it a good try.

We did find that it could take a bit of time getting the waiter’s attention but it was worth it for some tasty food.

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 7.5/10
Atmosphere – 8.5/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Yes

Cost £55 for tapas plus 1 beer and a Malibu and Coke

Tapa Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tapame

NOW CLOSED

4th June 2015 – 12.15pm

http://tapame.co.uk/

I popped in here for lunch with a colleague (so apologies for photos of half eaten food, work talk got in the way). Tapame is relatively new addition to Teviot Place and as the name suggests, serves tapas. We had the option of two menus; the full menu or the lunch deal special, which was two plates for £5, which was incredibly reasonable. We went for this option and decided to get four dishes to share between us. You are limited to picking one from a group of about 5 or 6 dishes and another from another group of 5 or 6. My colleague had ventured in before so I took her advice on dishes. We went for butter beans and patatas bravas from the first group and meatballs and spinach filo pie from the second group.

Tapame

Tapame

As with tapas, the dishes come out when they are ready but these all came out in close proximity to each other. We started with the patatas bravas and the meatballs. The patatas bravas is light on the sauce here, so if that’s not how you like them, you may be a bit disappointed. However, I thought they had good flavour, both in the potatoes and the sauce. They were cut into nice bit sized chunks which made them easy to share. The meatballs were in a set of three, which makes it a little less easy to share between two but were large enough that it was not a problem to cut a meatball in two and still have a decent bit of meat each. The rice that accompanied the meatballs was cooked well enough. The nicest part was the tomato sauce, which had a good, punchy tomato flavour. Moving onto the filo pie, the flavour was great. It doesn’t look overly appetising to the eye but don’t let that put you off. I have to say that this was probably the best dish of the four. There was a good balance between filling and pastry. The butter beans were soft and in a nice tomato sauce which included small pieces of other vegetables such as celery to give it added depth. This sauce was thinner and lighter than the one with the meatballs.

Overall, if you are looking for a quick bite to eat, Tapame will hit the spot. I imagine it will do very well through festival season.

Food – 7/10

Service – 8/10

Atmosphere – 6/10

Value – 9/10

Overall – 30/40

Cost approximately £15 for 4 tapas dishes and two soft drinks for the deal. Would be closer to £20 for the non-deal option.